The Simple Power of Tit for Tat


Why do we work with others? In many ways, the answer is simple. It’s about reciprocity. I do something for you. You do something for me, and often one of the easiest ways to build up faith in someone else is to exchange favors, to engage in reciprocity.


Educational Equity and Effectiveness


School finance reformers have long been divided into two camps. On one side, there are the advocates who argue for increased fiscal equity. They believe the primary issue concerning school finance is funding fairness and point to an abundance of evidence that shows high-poverty districts with needier students receive far less money than their wealthier counterparts.


Three Questions for Avi Tuschman


imagebookWe are all deeply political animals. That’s not news, as anyone who’s ever spent time on a playground knows. What’s new is just how much our political past shapes our political future. Avi Tuschman explores this idea in his fascinating new book, Our Political Nature. Drawing from his experience as a senior adviser for Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, Tuschman examines how our genes shape our political views. I emailed Avi some questions recently, and I’ve included an edited transcript below.


Why Trust Matters: The Moral of the “Eye-Poking” Capuchin Monkey


When political scientists talk about the importance of trust, they often reach for the literary stars. They pull out the big metaphors. They add some purple to their prose. Researcher Eric Uslaner once called social trust the “chicken soup” of social life. Sociologist Pamela Paxton has argued that trust is “the magic ingredient that makes social life possible.” One German academic was Teutonically blunt, declaring that “a complete absence of trust would prevent [one] even getting up in the morning.”


What Advanced Placement Means for the Future of American Education


In many ways, education reform initiatives have become like boy bands from the 1990s. They’ll score one Billboard hit and then fade away into obscurity. Take something like small schools. For a while, everyone hailed the approach as the solution to all of our education woes. But within a few years, the reform strategy had been tabled as reformers moved to the next Big Thing.